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Issue Home January 12, 2011 Site Home

Clifford Residents Fail To Show
Courthouse Report
Great Bend Twp. Reorganizes
No Changes In Harford For 2011
New Milford Reorganizes
New Milford Passes Burn Ordinance
G.B. Serious About Police, Again
Starrucca Borough Council Minutes
Should Montrose Have A No Drilling Ordinance?

Clifford Residents Fail To Show
By Stephanie Everett

As required by the state, Clifford Township Supervisors met for a reorganization meeting on January 3 - the first Monday of the year. A regular business meeting followed. Although business meetings within the township generally are well-attended, residents failed to show for the January 3 meeting, prompting Supervisor Barry Searle to ask if the meeting date had been advertised, since Clifford Township meetings usually are held on the second Monday of each month. Secretary René Reynolds responded that the change had been advertised in local papers and on the township website.

Roles within the township remained consistent throughout the reorganization meeting, with Dennis Knowlton elected to serve as the chairman of the board of supervisors and Barry Searle elected vice chairman. Joseph McGraw will retain his position as Clifford Township’s solicitor and Right to Know official. Also retaining their positions are Road Master James Locker, Code Enforcement Officer Paul Fortuner and Sewage Enforcement Officer Jay Lynch. Wages for township employees will remain the same, and business meetings will continue to be held on the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m.

During the regular business meeting, the ongoing Mudd Road Bridge project received considerable discussion, and it was noted that the loan for the project is still in progress. Although the box culvert has been installed, paving cannot resume until spring, meaning that Reynolds must apply for another extension of the grant. Delays also require the township to carry the loan for an extra six months, with the current projected completion date set at June 30. There were “too many variables that couldn’t be addressed,” Reynolds commented.

The supervisors reviewed letters requesting fees from Gibson and Lenox Townships, who do not have fire companies and are covered by the Clifford Volunteer Fire Company.

On January 26, an advisory meeting will be held in the Clifford Municipal Building. Consultant Tom Shepstone will be in attendance to provide advice on a comprehensive plan. The plan will consider the past, present and projected future of the municipality and is a prerequisite for a zoning ordinance.

The Clifford Township Planning Commission will hold its reorganization meeting next month.

Road Master James Locker announced that most road signs have been installed, except for a few on Main Street. At the next business meeting, Locker will brief the public on the procedure for plowing roads within the township.

With a tenant vacating the Municipal Building, McGraw requested permission to take over the lease when the tenant departs. Knowlton stated that he would like to raise the three hundred dollar rent to account for heating. McGraw and the supervisors settled on four hundred dollars per month, with the cost to be reviewed annually.

A discussion of windows and efficiency ensued, with Knowlton requesting that Larry Wilson and the Clifford Township Advisory Committee review the situation and offer suggestions and figures.

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Courthouse Report
Compiled By Lauren Price Ficarro


William J. and Suzanne M. Urban to James M. Greschak, in Herrick Township for $155,000.00.

Lisa Lighthizer to James Wisekal, Jr., in Forest City for $50,000.00.

David and Joanne Supko to Jeffrey Carter, in Forest City for $122,500.00.

Max T. and A. Marie Jones to Kingsley Community Church, in Harford Township for one dollar.

Kevin J. and Luann Cobb to Garth J. and Marie R. Tonkin, in Clifford Township for $250,000.00.

Norma J. and Charles W. Jaget to Susan M. Cronk, in Thompson Borough for one dollar.

John, Mary Ellen, Bernard, Mary Martha, William, Robert and Donald Griffin, Catherine Hardy and Barbara Winnie to Joseph R. Griffin and Kaleigh J. Smales, in Apolacon Township for one dollar.

James Slamon to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

Robert M. and Mary Jane Squier to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.

Richard W. and Jeanette E. Rosenkrans and Patricia A. and John F. Oleniacz to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Liberty Township for one dollar.

David P., Linda C. and Casimir Stanis to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

David J. and Jessica S. Zawalich to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

Lisa Welsher to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Liberty Township for one dollar.

Michael G. and Karen M. Rucando to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Silver Lake Township for one dollar.

Robert F. and Janet E. Kuhn to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

Robert G. and Renee Kimmell to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Forest Lake Township for one dollar.

Wilfred L. and Carol Henry to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Liberty Township for one dollar.

Ernest W. and Helen H. Hausmann to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Middletown Township for one dollar.

Felix P., Jr., Joanne, Felix P., Jr. trust (by trustee), Joanne trust (by trustee) and Lillie (by POA/by guardian) Delsordo and Caroline A. and Robert Crescent to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Franklin Township for $10.00.

Alfred B. and Joann Hall to Laser Northeast Gathering Company LLC, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.

Antonia Lourenco Macias to Chong Wai Tze Patricia, in Clifford Township for one dollar.

Dee Ashington to Dee Ashington (revocable trust), in Jessup Township for one dollar.

Jennie Orlandini to Jamie R. and Yvonne E. Orlandini, in Springville Township for one dollar.

Citifinancial Services, Inc. (by atty) to Laura M. Ackley, in Hallstead Borough for $16,500.00.

Robert R. Coe to Jerome K. and Mandisa A. Powell Ellis, in Susquehanna for $39,900.00.

George H. and Judy Y. Stover to Stover Family LLP, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.

Mark A. (AKA) Mark Arthur and Judy O. Harvey to Mark A. and Judy O. Harvey, in Great Bend Township for one dollar.

James and James Ashton Griffiths to James Ashton and David Arthur Griffiths, in Rush Township for one dollar.

John Thomas, Jr. and Heidi Lee to Michael R. and Bree S. Gillespie, in Herrick Township for $314,000.00.

John A. Sykas to Dandy 72 Little Meadows LLC, in Little Meadows Borough for $525,000.00.

Cecil and Marilyn Kilmer to Christopher S. Salansky, in Gibson Township for $100.00.

Cecil and Marilyn Kilmer to Robert J., Sr. and Rosemary Salansky and Stacey M. Phillips, in Gibson Township for one dollar.

Mark H. and Patricia A. Debisschop to Truckstop 39, Inc., in New Milford Township for $175,000.00.

Bremer Hof Owners, Inc. to Minziel Higgins, in Herrick Township for $3,295.00.

Robert E. (AKA) Robert E., Sr. and Dianne S. Knowles (NBM) Dianne S. Nelson to Robert E., Sr. and Dianne S. Knowles, in Choconut Township for one dollar.

Jeffery A. and Nancy L. Boughton to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in Oakland Township for $2,100,000.00.

Benson J. and Arnold M. (by atty) Bernstein to Benson J. and Arnold M. Bernstein, in Lenox Township for one dollar.

Ronald W. and Margaret J. Hilton to Hilton Family Pennsylvania Trust, in Dimock Township for one dollar.

Phyllis J. Taylor to Hannah Barnes Taylor, in Ararat Township for $128,000.00.


The Susquehanna County Domestic Relations Section has bench warrants for the following individuals as of 10:00 a.m. on January 7, 2011.

Erika L. Back, David Shawn Blaisure, Ryan T. Brooks, Douglas Buckman, Bryan S. Burnett, Howard A. Burns, III, John C. Creps, David Depue-Fitzpatrick, Jonathan Fathi, David J. Fischer, Thomas Fisher, Ryan M. God, Jeremy J. Grick, Andy L. Groff, David Haines, Jr., Keith G. Harms, William Neil Hendrickson, Gerald C. Hundley, Jason R. James, Erik E. Krisovitch, Lee Labor, Casey J. Lawton, Joshua S. Lee, Charlie J. Legere, Carlos L. Leiser, Derrick Lezinsky, Jason Lindquist, Mark C. McCarey, Jennifer M. Miller, Shane Nelson, Jeremy Presson, Theresa A. Pushinaitis, Arthur D. Quick, Michael S. Rieman, David J. Shiner, Richard D. Shoemaker, Garrett M. Staudinger (aka Thomas), Justin Thompson, Todd M. West, Roderic R. Williams, Steven G. Wormuth, Karl D. Zantowsky, Donna Zeluff.

Please contact the Domestic Relations Section at 570-278-4600 ext. 170 with any information on the location of these individuals.

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Great Bend Twp. Reorganizes

The Great Bend Township Supervisors began their first meeting of 2011 by reorganizing, with few changes. Joseph Gaughan was reelected chairman, Walt Galloway vice chairman, and Sheila Guinan secretary/treasurer. Curt Blewett was reappointed as roadmaster, Mike Giangrieco as township legal counsel, Joseph Collura, CPA as auditing firm and Hawk Engineering as township engineer. Mileage reimbursement was set at 51 cents per mile and the treasurer’s bond at $400,000. Cog Sewage Committee will still be the township’s SEO, and COG representative will be Walt Galloway, with Joseph Gaughan as alternate. One item, township auditor, was tabled due to lack of interest (no candidates). The supervisors approved two items, pay scale for supervisors employed for road work ($10.00/hour) and secretary/treasurer salary ($240.00/week plus $15.00 hour for any hours worked over 16), although these items are set by the auditors and could change if the township does acquire auditors.

Depositories for township funds are as follows: Peoples National Bank, state fund, Bridging Communities, general fund checking, general fund money market; Pennstar Bank, general machinery; PLGIT, emergency capital; and M&T Bank, money market.

Regular monthly meetings will remain at 7:00 p.m. on the first Monday of the month except July and September, when it will be held on the first Tuesday. Sheila Guinan will remain chief administrative officer for the pension plan, and Ed Eckenrod will remain as chairman of the vacancy board.

Once the reorganization was complete, the regular monthly meeting began.

The owner of a property on the Susquehanna River presented the supervisors with a packet of information regarding regulations for (gas industry) water withdrawal. He said that the township should have requested a public hearing before the state issued permits and that the companies conducting the water extraction follow the national environmental policy. He said that he is in the process of pursuing legal action regarding the lack of (sound) buffers and concerns with the lighting being used during night extraction.

The roadmaster’s report consisted of plowing, cindering, and equipment maintenance.

Permits issued during the month were COG Assessment, UCC permits to PennStar Bank, Martin Kelly, Dollar General Corp. and Edwin and Shirley Nelson. A sewage permit was issued to Jerry Mess for a micromound drip irrigation system, which is basically a large sand mound system. Four driveway permits were issued to Laser Northeast Gathering Co.

Correspondence included an invitation to the annual PSATS conference and trade show in Hershey April 17-20, and an invitation to the annual PA Farm Show Public Officials Day luncheon on July 13.

A motion carried to adopt a disclosure statement (Act 44) regarding the Municipal Pension Plan Funding Standard and Recovery Act, which covers administration, actuarial and advisory services.

And, during public comment, the supervisors heard a complaint about a violation of the township’s nuisance ordinance; the property was said to be a “disaster,” with an accumulation of junk.

The next meeting will be on Monday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the township building.

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No Changes In Harford For 2011
By Ted Brewster

As required for 2nd class townships in Pennsylvania law, the Harford Township Supervisors met on the first Monday in January to organize themselves. It was truly a re-organization, because everything remains as is:

Terry VanGorden retains the chair of the Board of Supervisors, Garry Foltz continues as vice-chair, and Sue Furney is still Secretary/Treasurer; Ms. Furney’s wages will be set by the township’s auditors and she will be bonded at $900,000; Mr. Foltz was again named voting delegate to the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors (PSATS).

Dorothy Hagenbuch was reappointed chair of the vacancy board.

Mr. VanGorden will continue as Roadmaster, along with the other workers, Wayne Frederici and Eric Allen. Their wages will be determined following a review of their job descriptions, and made retroactive to the first of the year.

Township employees will enjoy holidays on Memorial Day (May 30), Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day (September 5), Thanksgiving and the day after (November 25-26), the Monday following Christmas (December 26) and the Monday following the next New Year (January 2, 2012).

Peoples Neighborhood Bank will be the sole depository for the township’s funds.

Meetings will continue to be scheduled for the 2nd Tuesday of each month, at 7:00 p.m. at the township office.

Kreder Brooks Hailstone of Scranton will continue as the township’s solicitors, with partner Andrew Hailstone as counsel of record at the current rate of $225 per hour.

At the tail end of the meeting, Mr. Foltz reported that the township’s solicitor is still reviewing matters concerning the action against the township brought by property owners at Tingley Lake, the draft road service agreement offered by Southwestern Energy, and a new noise ordinance.

The Supervisors will meet again before this report appears for their scheduled monthly session on Tuesday, January 11.

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New Milford Reorganizes
By Melinda Darrow

The New Milford Township meeting began with reorganization. The meeting was held January 3 due to legal mandate that it occur during the first week of January each year for municipalities. Jim Hunter was elected chairman and emergency management officer, Don Shibley as vice chair, Jack Conroy Road Master, and Mike Briechle as solicitor. Julene Graham was elected to the secretary, right to know officer, open records officer, and treasurer positions again. Mr. Hunter joked that he wished all meetings could go that smoothly. Tom Button was to retain his sewage enforcement officer position, with Kevin Noldy as the alternate. The engineer was elected to be Fox engineering, run by Todd Schmidt, with Hawk Engineering as the alternate. The bank of choice was to continue to be Pennstar, for deposit. The decision was made to keep the monthly meeting the third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. Pay increases were approved, at a rate of .25 per hour more, to start in April. The secretary will receive a dollar an hour more now, and an additional .50 will be under consideration in April. There was also a change in the employees pension portion of benefits. The supervisors annual salary for the year had been $1500, the motion was made to increase this to $1,875 for those newly elected. That is that the supervisors would not be eligible for it during their current terms, but if reelected, they would. Mr. Conroy abstained as he would be up for reelection for the next term, Mr. Hunter commented that the supervisors work had increased, dictating the pay increase.

The regular meeting was then opened at 7:14. The township ended up, it was said, seeking two auditors, both of which positions had been filled. The logging on East Lake had been completed. The township was to be putting out the following items for bid: gas, diesel fuel, fuel oil, and road material, to be opened at the February meeting. Laurie Moore and Cindy Allen were appointed to the auditor positions.

Before the meeting ended, there was a smattering of other items dealt with. The township office hours were to change as of February 1, 2011 to Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. and every third Thursday between 9 a.m. and noon. The auditors were to have their first meeting the following night. The solicitors had received a notice regarding a storage tank program at the Gibson travel plaza. There was a phase two site assessment which revealed soil and ground water contamination.

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New Milford Passes Burn Ordinance
By Melinda Darrow

There was no reorganization meeting in New Milford Borough. There was some business in the beginning, however, regarding appointments. When they discussed the matter of the solicitor, the motion was made that Mike Briechle be appointed to the position. The vote was unanimous, as was the vote that Amy Hine retain her secretary and treasurer positions. The emergency management coordinator was to remain Jim Carpenetti, and Greg Pichocki the deputy. Chris Bronson and Greg Clinton were appointed to the municipal authority.

Teri Gulick brought up the matter of the Richardson apartments again. The codes enforcement officer had gone up there to inspect and ascertained that there were only four units, but a few council members had been told that there really were five or six units. One was being termed an efficiency apartment. Some of them also allegedly were on the same electric meters. Amy Hine said that the borough had spoken with Penelec, and had received an answer.

There was also discussion of pigs on Montrose Street. The codes enforcement officer had visited the property and had not seen any pigs, but a letter was sent to the property owner anyway, stating that their presence wasn't allowed. Many phone calls had also been received regarding Delaware Street, and garbage burning there. It was stated that a particular family needed to be told that they could not burn certain things. It was mentioned that there is now a burn ordinance, or would be by the end of the meeting, which might take care of this. There was later a report of a second resident burning inappropriately, on Johnson Street.

Saturday January 15, it was announced, at the County Office Building there is a workshop on running for public office. It was stated that even those elected might want to attend.

The mayor reported that it had been a quiet month. He did report on a federal law which would not allow the gazebo to be painted in period paint, as the original paint had lead. It was clarified that Barb James, who brought up the painting at the last meeting, had wanted period colors, not period paint. Originally, apparently, it hadn't been painted at all; it had been whitewashed.

There was no new news on the brake retarder ordinance, as nothing had been heard from PennDOT.

Amy Hine had spoken with the township about salt. The township doesn't use salt, as they have dirt roads, so no deal could be reached regarding the material. (This had been suggested at the prior month's meeting.) It was then suggested that perhaps Montrose could be contacted. It was also decided that they would order cinders.

There was talk about the skateboard stuff in the park, still in the tennis court at the time. It was decided that the street department would be asked to remove it before more snow flew.

There was discussion regarding a personnel policy stating that no employee of the borough could be hired if he or she would be supervised by a relative who was also employed. There were a few instances of this mentioned, for example at the pool. It was stated that oftentimes, however, the pool supervisor took the position because they had a child that was a lifeguard, and people in this position had generally been fair. It was suggested that perhaps the resolution could be worded in such a way that there could be exemptions at the discretion of council, although they could intervene in the face of unfair labor practices. The matter was put on the back burner.

The burn ordinance had been advertised. The planning commission had worked very hard on it, it was stated, and Penny Scarborough complimented them on it. It was approved, much to the relief of those who had experienced the revision process.

A visitor broached the subject of a 6 inch deep pothole on Montrose Street the size of a chair seat. He requested that it be taken care of. There had been some question regarding whether it was on the borough's property or the Pump and Pantry's. Teri Gulick said that there were also two on Washington Street, and although a majority of one of them was on private property it was hurting the borough street. It was decided that, when the weather broke, the streets department would look into the matter.

Sue Abbot broached the subject of sidewalks in town. It was suggested that again they look for grants. Barb James said that she wished people would maintain their sidewalks, sweeping off the stones or removing grass.

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G.B. Serious About Police, Again
By Ted Brewster

Great Bend Borough has wanted an effective police force for a long time. The town was host at one time to a police department that covered 5 municipalities, but that was disbanded some years back. More recently, when the state legislature looked like it might impose a fee for state police services, the borough hosted meetings directed at the creation of another “regional” police force. That initiative died as well. But Great Bend kept at it, considering contracting for part-time service from Lanesboro, Susquehanna and Montrose. Last year the Borough Council decided to try to go it alone.

They even bought a police car, from Port Dickinson, New York. It now seems that the car was delivered without a title, but as soon as Borough Secretary Sheila Guinan gets it, the car can be registered. Then Council member Jerry MacConnell can get new decals for the doors. Once that’s done, all they’ll need is a policeman to drive it.

To get a policeman, the Borough needs a department. And to get a department, the Borough needs a number, called an ORI (Originating Reporting Agency Identifier) number. And to get an ORI number, the Borough needs to submit some documentation and pass an ordinance. And the ordinance and some of the documentation needs to be reviewed by the Borough’s solicitor, and that is Frank O’Connor.

At its scheduled meeting on January 6, the Borough Council once again asked Mr. O’Connor to expedite his review of a proposed ordinance and two large draft documents that define the operations of a police department, one from the Lanesboro police department, the other from Montrose. Council member Ruth Loucks had finished an in-depth review of the Lanesboro document; Ms. Guinan acquired the Montrose manual during a recent tour of that police department. Mr. O’Connor told Council that he would finish his review of the draft ordinance by the next meeting in February “if Sheila bugs me enough.”

Mr. O’Connor has expressed little enthusiasm for the project so far. He was again asked if the Borough’s participation in the old cooperative police department (the Borough is still dealing with pension issues for its retired Chief, Charles Martell, paperwork for which Mr. O’Connor said he hasn’t been able to get to yet) would be a problem. He didn’t think so, but the likelihood seems small of a functioning police department in Great Bend Borough by summer as Mr. MacConnell hopes.

Nevertheless, at the suggestion of Mayor James Riecke - who would be the Borough’s executive in charge of the police department - Council scheduled separate monthly meetings to cover police issues. Council will meet on the third Thursday of each month specifically for this purpose.

Council is beginning to acquire some of the equipment necessary to operate a police department. Ms. Guinan was tasked with purchasing a camera, but she said that it would be best to purchase a computer and camera at the same time, to ensure that they will work together properly. Mr. MacConnell looked into purchasing a shotgun, but found that such purchases in New York State for use in Pennsylvania can be problematic. And, at the suggestion of Council member Mike VanGorden, the department’s part-time officers would be required to have their own sidearms.

In other business, Council accepted the low bid of $8,800 from Joe Kovich to replace the roof on the Borough Building.

The building is also the home of the Blue Ridge Senior Center. Mr. Riecke, whose wife cleans the building under contract with the Borough, said that there was evidence that the slop sink in the storage room in the building was being used to dump grease, potentially a problem for the sewer system. He also said that sanitary conditions in the building were sometimes lacking. “They’re very messy here,” he said, mentioning a few especially disgusting incidents. Ms. Guinan was asked to send a letter to Senior Center management to ask them to look into the situation.

Ms. Guinan also submitted her resignation as the Borough’s Codes Enforcement Officer, which was accepted “with regret.” There were no volunteers to take up the difficult job.

Council voted to spend $947.58 for tires for the Borough’s truck, on the recommendation of the Borough worker, Dick Button, who had a quote from After Hours Tire.

After a resident asked the Borough to look into better street lighting in one area, Council sent a letter explaining how street lights are placed, and that they are intended to light the street, not the areas around buildings. Having contacted the electric company that maintains the lights, Ms. Guinan reported that all of the lights are sodium vapor, and are replaced as necessary. Nevertheless, Mr. MacConnell asked her to inquire whether newer technology has made brighter lights available that might be used when street lights are replaced.

Ms. Loucks asked that Council consider a report she found in a firemen’s periodical that seemed to imply that the volunteer firemen who are covered under the Borough’s workmens compensation policy might be denied coverage in certain cases. It seemed from the article that some insurance companies are refusing to honor coverage for firemen who happen to be retired from some other job and receiving social security. On a second reading, it seemed like the issue might arise for employees (or, in this case, firemen) who are retired under social security because of injury. She asked that Ms. Guinan inquire of the Borough’s insurer whether such would apply here.

The Great Bend Borough Council meets regularly on the first Thursday of each month. They will also be meeting on the third Thursday of the month to discuss police issues. All meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Borough Building at Franklin and Elizabeth Streets.

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Starrucca Borough Council Minutes
Submitted By Pat Schneyer, Secretary

The Starrucca Borough Council meeting was called to order by President Jack Downton on Monday, December 6, at 7:00 p.m. at the Starrucca Community Hall. The meeting opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.

Council members present were Vice President Robert Martin, Barbara Glover, Arthur Kopp, Paul Everett and Mayor Maryann DeBalko.

Council members absent were Robert Buck and Anthony Palonis.

The audience included Louis Gurske, Dan Kramer, Kristin Potter, Dee Martin, Roger Glover, Gerald Gill and Loreda Everett.

The minutes of the Council meeting held on November 1 were read. Mr. Everett noted a correction to the minutes since he was not in attendance at the meeting in October. Motion to accept the minutes as corrected passed unanimously.

The Treasurer’s report as of December 3 was read. Motion to accept the Treasurer’s report passed unanimously.

Bills to be paid (December) - Motion to pay the bills as presented plus the fire fund payment to Thompson Hose Co. passed unanimously. A discussion followed regarding compensation paid to Council members for attendance at meetings during the year. Members present stated they did not want to receive payment. R. Martin made a motion to decline payment for his seat on Council. The motion passed unanimously. President Downton made a motion to donate his pay back to the Borough along with the following Council members: Paul Everett, Barbara Glover, Arthur Kopp, Louis Gurske and Mayor Mary Ann DeBalko. The motion passed unanimously. Since no attendance record was kept, the secretary will review previous Minutes to determine attendance and payment due to other Council members (Robert Buck, Anthony Palonis and Michael Martin).

Before proceeding with the Agenda for the meeting, President Downton acknowledged Kristin Potter in the audience. Mrs. Potter presented the amount of fire tax collected on behalf of Donald Potter, Tax Collector along with checks for fire tax and borough tax collected.

Mrs. Potter commented that her husband had not been paid for previous taxes collected. President Downton apologized for the delay and noted that the secretary will take care of the matter. Mrs. Potter requested use of the Community Hall during the week of February 14 for Girl Scout cookie distribution. Motion to allow the use of the hall for Girl Scout cookie distribution passed unanimously.


Commonwealth of PA Remittance - Direct Deposit - State Police Fines - filed.

Thompson Hose Co. 2011 Fire Contract - Motion to accept the contract and authorize President Downton to sign the contract on behalf of Starrucca Borough passed unanimously.

Gerald T. Gill correspondence - auditor position - filed.

Robert E. Buck - resignation - Motion to accept Robert Buck’s resignation passed unanimously.

Louis Gurske - correspondence - Council seat vacancy - filed.

Solicitor Treat - cc Statement of Financial Interests - filed.

NEPA Alliance - filed.

Old Business

Auditor Vacancy - Following a discussion of Gerald Gill’s correspondence and interest in the vacancy, motion to accept Mr. Gill’s offer to be an auditor for the Borough passed unanimously. Mr. Gill was sworn in by Mayor DeBalko.

Hess Road Agreement - R. Martin discussed the road agreement and reported that it was important to include a clause regarding dust control. The secretary will prepare a draft for review by Mr. Martin and then it will be forwarded to Solicitor Treat. Motion to tentatively accept the Agreement and send it to Solicitor Treat for review passed unanimously.

Penn Star Bank Loan - President Downton reported that the paperwork for re-financing was not completed due to the confusion caused by the 2008 figures. Solicitor Treat recommended that the paperwork should be completed where possible. P. Everett reported that following a work session he contacted DCED (Matt Domines) regarding the re-financing of the Buck Road Bridge loan. Mr. Domines referred Mr. Everett to Attorney Berratini, representing DCED. The information supplied by Attorney Berratini was forwarded to Solicitor Treat. Motion to send the forms regarding re-financing to Solicitor Treat with the understanding that Council is unable to complete the figures for 2008 passed unanimously.

Budget 2011 - Following discussion, motion to approve 2011 Budget as presented passed unanimously.

FEMA-PEMA Representative - Mr. Kopp reported that Gale Williams-Reddon was not sure about filling the vacancy. Mr. Everett also spoke about the responsibilities of the FEMA agent as the person who speaks to the Agency on behalf of Starrucca Borough.

Roads - R. Martin reported that a “No Outlet” sign has been installed on Kellogg Road and the sign on Penn Hill road is more visible.

R. Martin expressed “thanks” to President Downton and his crew for patching potholes on Borough roads the Friday after Thanksgiving. Mr. Martin further stated that President Downton donated his equipment to do the job. A concrete patch was put over the sluice on Penn Hill Road.

Community Hall - R. Martin reported that he and A. Kopp winterized the Community Hall and Mr. Kopp donated the anti-freeze. Mr. Martin reported that the propane was down 20%. Motion to purchase propane for the Community Hall passed unanimously. The secretary will contact Paraco Gas Co.

New Business

Council Seat Vacancy - Following a discussion of Louis Gurske’s interest in the vacancy, B. Glover nominated Mr. Gurske for the position. The motion passed unanimously. Mr. Gurske was sworn in by Mayor DeBalko.

Kellogg Road - President Downton discussed the damage on Kellogg Road due to logging. Motion to authorize Solicitor Treat to send a letter to Darl Haynes and Schaeffer Logging regarding the repair of the damages to Kellogg Road passed. A. Kopp opposed.

P. Everett spoke about Council’s responsibility for the Borough roads.

Secretary - The secretary discussed her pending move from Starrucca and confirmed that she will continue in her position as secretary/treasurer for Starrucca Borough. Council agreed.

Statement of Financial Interest - Mayor DeBalko spoke about Statements for previous years (2007, 2008 and 2009) that have been requested from certain individuals by Ethics. The secretary reported that Darl Haynes and Fred Rhone had contacted her for the same reason. Motion to have the secretary contact Ethics regarding proper procedure for accepting Financial Statements for previous years to be included in the current Borough files passed unanimously.

Public Comment

Loreda Everett reported a “gully” in Coxton Lake Road at King Hill Road.

Gerald Gill suggested sending a letter to Mr. Owens, CPA requesting that he furnish the “work papers” and all support documents used for the 2008 audit. Motion to obtain the “work papers” and all supporting documents from William Owens, CPA regarding the 2008 audit passed unanimously.

The meeting adjourned at 8:55 p.m.

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Should Montrose Have A No Drilling Ordinance?
By Melinda Darrow

On January 3 the Montrose borough council held its regular monthly meeting. Due to meeting conflicts, this reporter arrived at the meeting partway through it. The council did not reorganize, however, as it did not need to this year.

The topic of a heater for the police garage was raised. It was questioned whether heat was really needed there, but someone pointed out cars being washed made it a necessity. The police like to rinse off the vehicles. It was suggested, though, that they be washed in the old building, in the bay which is already heated. To get the heater installed, it would cost between $1,200 and $1,500, plus propane (or electric). Mr. Reimel said that he did know cold concrete floors were bad for the vehicles. The main concern would be overnight, as once the vehicles were outside, it was said, they generally stayed out for the shift, until they were washed and put away. Mr. Granahan suggested turning the heaters on only at night, citing the bay's loss of heat. Ms. Waddington suggested looking into radiant heat panels. This led to a discussion of ways to reduce heat loss in the garage bay.

The mayor raised the topic of lights near the Catholic church, since a recent accident in that area. It had been said, he reported, that there was not enough light down there especially during inclement weather. Mr. Reimel said that he wasn't certain the light was the borough's, but this could be researched. Dale Smith, the police chief, was nominated for this research.

The traffic light maintenance agreement was approved for the lamp at 29 and 706; this hadn't been done since 2006. The light had gone out recently resulting in no light at that location until it was fixed. It was confirmed that this work was the borough's responsibility.

A sidewalk maintenance agreement, sent to the council by PennDOT, was broached. The council decided not to sign it, and suggested that the agreement ought to be sent to business owners. It was stated that the borough does not own any sidewalk, and that PennDOT should contact the property owners directly.

It was also stated that the Endless Mountains Health System Hospital Project was not in the borough. This was in response to other correspondence.

Jim Blachek, once of the area, attended the meeting to discuss health insurance quotes. He was acting as a consultant for the borough. His role would be to figure out how the plans would work and be an intermediary and information source for employees. They were trying to match up with a plan, and one council member had suggested a $500 deductible. The plans he was discussing were Blue Cross Blue Shield, Health America, and Geisinger. It was asked if the local doctors were in Health America, and it was responded that Geisinger and Health America both had good networks. New York state, however, would be out of network. The next step would be for the employees to fill out a form, which would result in hard numbers. The question was raised whether council was allowed to be part of the group plan, and Mr. Blachek said that while he knew elected officials who were covered he was not certain. There might be problems, it was said, with hours worked and pay scales.

The council set the meeting dates, leaving the days and times the same with exceptions for holidays. The holidays fall in July and September. The recessed meetings were set to remain the same as well, though it was stipulated that if it is a recessed meeting there were restrictions on what could be discussed. It was proposed that it be called an additional meeting instead, which motion passed.

When the United Fire Company Emergency Services Agreement was brought up, it was advised by the solicitor that council not sign it. It was pointed out that the council does allocate money to the company anyway; this year it was projected that this amount would be $30,000 due to an increase.

The secretary pointed out that all of the parking meters were certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Weights and Measures. All of them passed a recent inspection.

There was some discussion regarding whether the council ought to pass an ordinance regarding banning drilling. There were a few places where distance was sufficient to allow for drilling within the borough. Apparently Pittsburgh had sent information regarding a proposed ordinance to the municipalities. Even if they didn't adopt it, the city was looking for a letter of support. Mr. Granahan asked what would prevent, were there no ordinance, a company from buying a bunch of land and knocking down buildings so as to be 200 feet from any building. A variance would be needed, but Mr. Granahan felt that at least a surface ordinance might be written. Someone in the audience brought up the fact that ordinances might also encompass water treatment stations, etc. The county planning commission, a member of the press reported, had a plan which might address some of these matters, which the borough might wish to learn about and consider.

The matter of the sewage authority was mentioned. When council had originally created the municipal authority in its statute it had created it independently. It is thus autonomous then, unless mandated by a state regulation. Council appoints members, and generally cosigns grants, but otherwise has little control over the authority. It was proposed that there are many grants available, but there was concern that sewage bills would rise if they weren't investigated.

After a somewhat lengthy executive session it was announced that the council would be advertising for police officers. The council wanted to see what is out there before deciding in which manner this will be organized.

It was also announced that adjustments would be made to pay, as is normal at the end of a year. The head of the street department had requested benefits, which would decrease his pay but there would also be a 3% cost of living increase. A rate adjustment was made to the meter enforcement officer position, and for police patrolmen. The latter was due to changes in the market. The police chief position, the sergeant position, and the police secretary were to receive 3% cost of living increases, and the borough secretary's salary was raised as well. What the council is trying to do, Mr. Granahan said, is to look at compression and market issues. The borough is in competition for patrol officers, he continued, so this action was overdue.

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